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4 Questions You Might Ask About Chlorhexidine Gluconate Mouthrinse

Chlorhexidine gluconate is a prescription-only mouthrinse used to reduce plaque, treat gingivitis, or treat periodontitis. Read on to learn the answers to common questions about chlorhexidine gluconate. And remember, you can always ask your dental professionals for more information.

1. What is Chlorhexidine Gluconate Mouthrinse?

Chlorhexidine gluconate is just one of the treatments available for oral health conditions like early gum disease (gingivitis) and advanced gum disease (periodontitis). According to a literature review in the Journal of Dentistry, chlorhexidine is prescribed to reduce plaque (dental biofilm), infections, or treat periodontitis. Typically chlorhexidine gluconate is prescribed for temporary use.

2. How Does It Work?

Chlorhexidine gluconate is an antimicrobial, which means it kills bacteria in the mouth. Chlorhexidine can be used in different ways. When your dental or medical professional prescribes a mouthrinse, they will give you directions for use. According to a study in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, chlorhexidine gluconate may also be applied directly under the gumline in a dental office.

3. Are There Any Side Effects?

Chlorhexidine gluconate mouthwash has a few possible side effects, like changes in taste, increased tartar (hardened plaque) build-up, or staining of the teeth, gums, and dental appliances. But these side effects typically only appear with long-term use and your dentist or physician will consider those before prescribing.

While severe side effects of using medicated mouthwash are rare, according to the University of Michigan, chlorhexidine gluconate can cause a rare but severe allergic reaction. Call your dentist or physician immediately if you experience any of these symptoms, or any other reaction, after rinsing with chlorhexidine gluconate.

4. How Long Should I Use Chlorhexidine Gluconate Oral Rinse?

The dentist or physician prescribing chlorhexidine will tell you how long you should use it for. Most mouthrinses contain only 0.12% chlorhexidine, but your dental professional or physician may give you a product of a different strength.

No treatment is a substitute for proper oral hygiene, so be sure to practice good hygiene habits, too. Try brushing with a toothbrush with curved, soft outer bristles to clean the gumline and firmer inner bristles to effectively clean teeth. And remember to clean between your teeth with floss, flossers, or other interdental cleaner. Talk to your dental professional and they will be able to help you find the solution that best fits your oral health needs.